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The key to managing your to-do list

We’ve all experienced it, the ever-increasing to-do list… You know, it’s that thing you get anxious over. The thing that is niggling you but you just have to get x, y and z done first and you never seem to get around to it.

Self sabotage

man-stressed-at-deskPutting off and ignoring a situation or a chore that has a potentially detrimental impact on our life is described as self-sabotage. Doing whatever the task is makes us confront our fears or anxieties. The trouble with this sort of behaviour is that it has many negative manifestations associated with it.

Avoiding that job and putting it to the bottom of the to-do list time and again makes us feel guilt, irritation, and often regret. We find ourselves distracted whilst doing other things, thinking I really must do that job, I will get around to X later and yet we never do. This distracts our focus from the Elon in hand, uses additional energy and leads to procrastination.

The benefits of putting it off

It’s not to say that there are no benefits from putting that job off but they are really only short-lived. Putting it off will give you a brief and temporary feeling of relief but it will always be prowling in the background like a Polar Bear prowling around your house. It becomes a stress, perceived threat and gets dumped into our stress bucket. That is the bare bones of it, our brain sees it, whatever it is, as a threat permanently there, and hence leads to anxiety when not dealt with.

Do the job you are putting off, get ahead and feel great

Whether it is a letter, email, DIY, garden, or whatever it is, go do it and notice how good you feel. You will notice a lighter feeling invade you. You will notice feeling less tense in your body, more focused and less fatigued.

Don’t let the situation arise again, because it will only eat away at you until you deal with it. Just note how bad you felt about not doing it and get ahead of the game and you can avoid all that stress and anxiety again in the future. For me that is, and always has been, my financial annual accounts. BUT this year I am ahead of myself and may even have them submitted by May! The prospect of that makes me feel really good. Now I just need to put in place what I need to get it finalised and done.

Go have a think about the job you’ve been putting off and do what it takes to get it done. You will feel so much better thanks to a boost in your serotonin levels.

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